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too much sex nowadays?

miklamar

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POSTS: 2167

Report this Jun. 11 2013, 4:38 am

Maybe I am a creature of my older, more discreet generation, but I have been reading a book that would be interesting, except the author includes too much explicit sex (in my opinon).  It is a horror book, the action is well-written, and the plot is intriguing.


But, I think the story would move along a lot faster if the author just stuck with the story and related character and location descriptions.  Of course, the sexual depictions and the endless, predicatble conversations pad the book.  However, the tale would be just as well-written if it were told in a more straightforward manner.


Have any of you noticed this occurrence?  Do you like it, or do you agree more with me?


Var Miklama--Zakdorn, engineer. "A sound mind in a FULL body!" "Time, like latinum, is a limited quantity in the galaxy."

bunkey

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POSTS: 686

Report this Jun. 11 2013, 5:17 am

I don't think it's an epidemic of too much sex as much as it is bad writing and a need to sell books.  I love sexual content if it's done well.  I'd rather read 10 pages of well written sex than 1 page of poorly written sex.


I also find female authors on the whole don't write sex very well.  They either make it  too romantic and every single thing is ridiculous or they shy away from adult terminology because they're not comfortable with it but want to write sex so you get "50 Shades of Grey" where she uses phrases like “"He caresses my behind with his long-fingered hands".  "Behind"?  Really? 


It's rare to find well written sex so what is available comes off as immature and crass.

miklamar

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Report this Jun. 11 2013, 10:44 am

As you say, bunkey, good writing is always much easier to read than poor writing, no matter the topic.  The book about which I was writing was written by a best-selling female author, so the actual wording was probably all right.


I just preferred to skim over the fluff, to concentrate on the story.  Once I got past that preliminary--to me, boring--section, the action was pretty good!


Perhaps it's just because I'm getting older.  I may be becoming more jaded, too.  But, sexual options are (eventually) rather limited, whereas a creative tale can be unpredictable and thus fascinating.


Var Miklama--Zakdorn, engineer. "A sound mind in a FULL body!" "Time, like latinum, is a limited quantity in the galaxy."

bunkey

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POSTS: 686

Report this Jun. 11 2013, 10:55 am

I'm getting older too, but it doesn't bother me.  As I said, female authors rarely get sex right. They frequently use overly romantic euphemisms that make me roll my eyes.


 


And when my sexual options eventually become limited, I will enjoy smut even more so I can live vicariously.


lnagr1

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Report this Jun. 11 2013, 11:33 pm

Doesn't bother me. But then again, I am younger.


Icarus14

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Report this Jun. 12 2013, 8:13 am

I don't like it when the author places that kind of content in a book. To me it is unnecessary. There have been plenty of times that I'll put a book down and not continue reading it when I run across scenes such as described. I just feel there is no need for such content in a book. Plenty of well-written books have been published with nothing at all like that. 


"Only one, Human captain, ever survived the Minbari fleet. He is behind me, you, are in front of me. If you value your lives, then be somewhere else." Delenn.

bunkey

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Report this Jun. 12 2013, 9:01 am

There can be need for sex scenes in a book just as much as in a movie.  It's not necessary to EVERY plot, but there are plenty of instances when sex is very much appropriate and a needed plot point.  If two characters in a book become involved sexually and it's important to the plot, you can't just have a page that says "sex stuff happens" in the middle of the book. Sex may be needed to imply passion, lack of passion, violence, manipulation or many other secondary points.


Now, if reading it makes you uncomfortable, that's an entirely different matter. But to say that sex is completely unnecessary isn't a valid statement.  You may actually be missing out on good books by avoiding sexual content.

Catholic.Fan

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Report this Jun. 12 2013, 10:49 am

I find it to be rather distasteful.  Sex is a very intimate act, and the few times I've come across sex scenes in books I've read, they were even more uncomfortable to watch than something I've seen in a movie or TV.  At a guess, I'd say that's because a book can go into detail about the character's emotions and thoughts during the act, and that's just too personal a look for me.  As I interact with a story through reading, I want to feel a sense of friendliness toward protagonists and perhaps a general dislike of the antagonists.  Once you cross into the realm of sex in a story, it almost becomes like watching two friends have sex.  It gets a bit weird.  


I agree that sex, in and of itself, can be useful in the course of a plot.  I don't need pornagraphic descriptions of character interactions for that.  Smut is smut, and I don't like it when an otherwise normal story devolves into such territory for titilation alone.  I remember reading the Sword of Truth series, a rather good fantasy epic on the whole, and it had the occasional scene of intimacy.  It just felt out of place, and that had nothing to do with the writer's ability to tell the story, just that it was a poor choice to include it in the first place.  I've found that, in general, this is what happens with most stories that choose to involve sex in their plots.  You have an otherwise decent story that suddenly becomes completely irrational just to include sex.  Such issues are not limited to books, as film and tv often have ridiculous scenes that are there strictly for getting a rise out of the audience.


I think Star Trek has been guilty of this a lot.  Surprisingly, there's been quite a bit more critical reaction to it than I would have expected from a secular media.  The Alice Eve panty shot in STID was pretty much panned by everyone, as it should have been.  Carol Marcus is supposed to be this brilliant woman (even in the new film), but before we've established her as a credible character, all hope for making her an intelligent person is thrown out the proverbial airlock when the writers chose to use her in such an objectifying way.  


Frankly, I don't think very many writers are capable of maintaining the integrity of their characters when they choose to put them in sexual situations.  The temptation to turn them into tools of audience arousal is too great, and it almost never works out.

bunkey

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Report this Jun. 12 2013, 1:50 pm

Quote:

Once you cross into the realm of sex in a story, it almost becomes like watching two friends have sex.  It gets a bit weird.


 


Depends on which friends you're talkling about. 

starlisa

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Report this Jun. 12 2013, 4:04 pm

I too think there is too much of it, not just in books but on tv. Consequently, I'm very picky with what I watch and read. Society seems to have lost a respect for sex, and I think that's sad. I'd like to see more quality literature and dramas produced.

Pooneil

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Report this Jun. 12 2013, 9:46 pm

At worst I've found sex scenes boring. That goes for TV and movies more than books, as novelists seem more aware of the content of their stories, while movie producers and directors are more interested in showing off attractive bodies by candlelight. Graphic sex scenes can be as important to a story as any other kind of scene. Yes, it's very intimate, but sometimes that's what you need to connect with the characters and the emotional core of a story.


I'd rather have boring sex scenes than graphic violence. I just watched the "Game of Thrones" episode where a character who's had his hand chopped off gets his bloody stump bandaged...It had me closing my eyes and burying my face in my beer. Seeing nudity or orgasms doesn't bother me as much as the gory bits.


Same in books. I read a series of novels by Bernard Cornwell about the Napoleonic Wars; lots of violence and bloodshed, with a loving attention to detail. I'd rather have read some peaceful smut.


 

bunkey

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Report this Jun. 13 2013, 8:30 am

Quote: Pooneil @ Jun. 12 2013, 9:46 pm

>At worst I've found sex scenes boring. That goes for TV and movies more than books, as novelists seem more aware of the content of their stories, while movie producers and directors are more interested in showing off attractive bodies by candlelight. Graphic sex scenes can be as important to a story as any other kind of scene. Yes, it's very intimate, but sometimes that's what you need to connect with the characters and the emotional core of a story.

>I'd rather have boring sex scenes than graphic violence. I just watched the "Game of Thrones" episode where a character who's had his hand chopped off gets his bloody stump bandaged...It had me closing my eyes and burying my face in my beer. Seeing nudity or orgasms doesn't bother me as much as the gory bits.

>Same in books. I read a series of novels by Bernard Cornwell about the Napoleonic Wars; lots of violence and bloodshed, with a loving attention to detail. I'd rather have read some peaceful smut.


 


You've pretty described the way the rest of the world views sex vs violence vs the US, LOL.  You can take a film and broadcast it on TV worldwide.  The US will censor all the sex scenes while the rest of the world censors the violence. The US has some very skewed puritanical values. Something as natural, awesome and fun as sex gets censored yet we enbrace violence.  It's part of the whiskey/gun culture.


'Mmmmurica!


Sarcasm is my native language.
JJ Abrams is not of the body.

Catholic.Fan

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Report this Jun. 13 2013, 9:06 pm

I definitely agree with what bunkey says about the skewed attitudes toward violence in the US.  There seems to be a love of violence, and as of late, gore.  I watched the red band trailer for the Evil Dead remake, and it about made me lose my lunch.  The original had violence, but it was done in such a camp way, that there was no brutality to it.  Now, there's just a bizarre sadism that permeates these movies.  I think the "torture porn" label is really apt.


Sadly, the same problems are spreading to another genre I enjoy, and that's video games.  I watched a number of the trailers for new and upcoming games, and they are nothing but exploding bodies left and right.  I'm not on the bandwagon of people that think violence in games makes people actually violent (I think people do that on their own just fine), but the apparent push for realism in gaming is quite disappointing.

miklamar

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Report this Jun. 14 2013, 1:50 am

That's like the Saw series of movies.  They are so grossly violent, yet even young women have said they really liked them.  (You might say they "gushed" over them!)  That's a sad commentary on American society, in my opinion.


Var Miklama--Zakdorn, engineer. "A sound mind in a FULL body!" "Time, like latinum, is a limited quantity in the galaxy."

bunkey

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POSTS: 686

Report this Jun. 14 2013, 6:40 am

I don't think enjoying overly violent entertainment is a problem unto itself.  Some of my favorite shows are very violent, The Walking Dead, Sons of Anarchy Game of Thrones and Dexter. Personally I think the Saw series is just terrible entertainment in general, poorly written and cheesy.  As Catholic Fan mentioned, it's also not a matter of these violent forms of entertainment making people violent.  The violent  dramas I like are not violent for shock value or violent just to be violent. They're also well written, well acted and quality shows.    I also like a good sex scene if it's quality and relevant.  (One of my favorite sex scenes is the scene between Queen Gorgo and King Leonidas in 300. *fans self*)  In the US the NC 17 label usually gets slapped on movies because of sexual content.  Directors very rarely are told to tone down the violence  to get an R rating.  Hell the NC 17 rating was invented because the original rating of X, that was meant to denote "not suitable for children" wasn't copyrighted and hijacked by porn. And NC 17 is still the kiss of death for movies.  Blockbuster wouldn't carry NC 17 movies because NC17 is so heavily associated with sex.  


But yeah, the US definitely has skewed attitudes towards sex and violence in both entertainment and the real world.  The word "vagina" got Lisa Brown banned from speaking on the House floor, yet politicians embrace guns.  It's really a ridiculous attitude.  


The USA. We love guns but are scared of vagina.

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